Updates From the Award-Winning Volivoli Beach Resort and Ra Divers
With more than 80 world-class dive sites in Fiji’s Bligh Water – designated by divers as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ – one may be forgiven for thinking that Fiji's dive centres have more than enough to enjoy. At Volivoli Beach Resort, however, voted third best dive centre in the world in DIVE's 2020 Travel Awards, 'enough is never quite enough', according to Simon Doughty, Volivoli's Sales and Marketing Manager,
'Keeping positive and always on the lookout to improve our product for our clients, be it on land or sea, we have taken the opportunity during the Covid19 ‘quiet-time to drop in and check out a few marks we have had on our plotters and see first-hand what the diving potential actually is,' said Doughty, describing how the dive team set sail in 'picture-perfect' conditions with a strong incoming tide bringing with it excellent visibility – 'great for the divers' – and strong currents – 'excellent for fish life and feeding action.'
Heading to what appeared on the depth sounder to be a pinnacle or seamount rising from around 65 to 30m, the crew dropped a shot line and the dive team descended into clear blue water to be immediately surrounded by schools of flashing silver chevron barracuda as they made their descent.
Strong currents brought with it 'masses of fish action', and the seamount was filled with 'plenty of healthy hard coral and anemones’, together with their resident anemonefish. The top of the pinnacle was determined t be approximately 20m across, with a handful of green turtles in residence. The coral-encrusted slopes around the pinnacle descended into the depths with gardens of wire (whip) corals surrounding the wider base, in which 'a good number' of grey reef sharks were spotted.
'It was a great dive; lots of current and we will certainly be back to explore some more as we have only touched the tip of the iceberg,' said Doughty. The dive site is to be named 'Root Canal', which sounds rather ominous, but, as Doughty explained, 'one of our exploration divers had just come back from having a root canal at the dentist so she was initially a little worried her first dive after the visit may be an issue,as I think we all do when we have had any work done. Anyway, as a funny ending, we decided on "root canal" and she had a great dive with no problems!'
Like the UK, 23 March sees Fiji mark a long 12 months of coronavirus lockdown, although – unlike the UK – Fiji completely closed its international borders and has seen no cases of Covid-19 for 340 days prior to the anniversary. Vaccines have begun to be administered and the Fijian government is hoping to have 630,000 people - approximately 70 per cent of the population - vaccinated within the next two months.
'This is another of many steps in the right direction towards assisting our international borders to re-open to tourists,' said Doughty. 'We are also delighted and proud to announce that we are CareFiji compliant and in alignment with the globally recognised Safe Travels ensuring Volivoli Beach Resort is a safe destination for travellers when international borders eventually reopen.'
Super Hot Deals
Like many dive centres across the world, Volivoli is accepting bookings with low deposits and flexible travel dates. Travel deals for Volivoli's 'Super Hot 5, 7 & 10 Night' Specials are available for bookings made before 31 July 2021, with deposits from FJ100 (£35) per person, and lower for group bookings of 10 or more people. Flexible travel dates are available until 31 March 2023.
All new bookings made before 31 July 2021 for travel up to 31 March 2023 will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a Sharkskin Titanium Chillproof top valued at US$215.00 and a second prize draw to win a Mares Smart dive computer valued at US$395.00.